The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
Thought for the Day: God is always faithful
Today, as I took my morning time to catch up with friends on Facebook, there was one special status that caught me off guard. It was a picture of a sweet friend of mine and her son standing in front of the Olympic cauldron when the Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996. That is a bittersweet picture because a few years after that picture was taken, her son died in a car accident. I wrote to her that the picture was a special memory for her and she responded, “I know you appreciate those kinds of memories.” My thoughts began and in the next few minutes, I remembered vividly something that I haven’t thought much over the past few years. I was the youth director at the Bartlett United Methodist Church for two years in the 1980s. In my youth group were a remarkable group of kids who I got to know well and I cherished them. Through our group talks and individual talks with them, I knew they were following God in their hearts and were on the right road in life. Several years after I left that position and began teaching, I became dear friends to one of the youth who had been in that youth group. After a period of time, we fell in love and later decided to marry.
So, now the story continues. When we had been married for seven years, I lost my husband in a car accident and my world was rocked. A couple of years later, I married again a wonderful Christian man and moved to another town. But the next few years brought more grief to that church where I had cherished my time as youth director. I kept getting those calls, those calls that immediately brought me to my knees. “Donna, Sam Bulle, was killed in a car accident last night.” “Donna, Dean Muklevicz, died in a car accident.” “Donna, we lost Todd Jolly in a car accident last night.” You see, Sam and Todd were in my youth group and Dean was the little brother of two of the youth I had in my youth group. As a young woman, I remember thinking that this was just too much and I couldn’t understand why these young men were taken so early.
Today I look back and I can honestly say that I still do not understand, and I probably will never understand how these four young men were taken so early. Today, I think about their family members and I am absolutely amazed with the strong faith I witness in each family. Sam’s parents took my family under their wings when we moved to Collierville, TN. They took us out to eat and gave our new little boy a toy that had belonged to Sam. Sam had red-hair so when my own child was born with red hair, there was an instant love. In his mother’s later years, she called my son “Sam” and my son answered to that. His Daddy is very special to us. I have observed Dean’s daddy and siblings to see that they love their Lord and are very much filled with love for their families. I love reading about his sister with her husband and children – I see Dean’s face in them. I watch Todd’s mother and sister as they continue sharing his faith with those around them. The Christian strength I witness in them is amazing. Todd had married and had a child so I felt so much for his sweet wife and baby. As I watch, I see a wonderful young man who looks like his father, who shows faith in his love for family. I am amazed with his mother and sister everyday. Then, there are my first husband’s, David’s, parents who are now my adoptive parents and the boys’ grandparents. The faith they have shown is absolutely amazing and I cherish every moment I have with them.
God is good, and even through tragedy, has given us faith and strength. We don’t understand everything that happens, but we do know that God works through every situation. I cherish God in this moment as I look back and see the many miracles that have taken place through those hard years of loss for that special church.
Prayer: God, thank you for the examples of faithful servants who have shown their faith through the years. Even through tragedy, they have shown their faith to us. Please help us lean on You through everything that happens in our lives and help us know that You are with us in everything. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Those who grieve